SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield, Mo., police confirmed the body of Hailey Owens was located inside the home of Craig Michael Wood. Police named Wood, 45, as a suspect in her abduction in an earlier news conference.
Witnesses reported seeing Owens abducted by a man Tuesday evening shortly before 5 p.m.
On Wednesday morning, Springfield Public School Superintendent Dr. Norm Ridder said the suspect in Owens’ abduction was an employee of Springfield Public Schools. A statement on the school district’s website read in-part:
“The suspect in this case, Craig Michael Wood, was arrested by Springfield Police Department. Wood has been employed by SPS since Aug. 18, 1998. He works as a paraprofessional and athletic coach at Pleasant View K-8 School. His employment has been suspended until this matter is resolved.”
For additional information: http://fox4kc.com/2014/02/18/amber-alert-issued-for-abducted-10-year-old-from-springfield/
My prayers go out to Hailey, her family and friends. From what I understand, this is the third kidnapping and murder of a child/girl, in as many years, in Southwest Missouri. As we try to wrap ourselves around, or should I say, make sense of this horrific situation; one thing comes to mind. There should be on-going discussions with children in regards to safety.
I understand situations such as the one that occurred in Springfield will, unfortunately, occur again and again somewhere in the United States and the world. The best defense against these predators who perpetrate these horrible crimes against children is safety awareness. Having regular discussions in regards to safety is paramount in combating this evil that walks amongst us in society.
I believe we should have real discussions with children in regards safety. By real discussions, I mean honest discussions and to listen to them; make sure they understand the subject matter.
Explain what occurred in Springfield to your children, but make the explanation age appropriate. Go over safety rules and in my opinion; do not just talk about the rules, but throw in some practical exercises. Wait about a week and revisit the topic to make sure they took in the information.
This is not something that should be done one time. Have regular discussions in regards to safety, which will keep the information fresh in their minds. My daughter is twenty-years-old and a college student. We still have periodic conversations in regards to general safety, sexual predators and active shooters. I forgot to mention using what God gave her which is her brain and using her “sixth sense.” It may not be right all of the time, but it is right most of the time. “Think before you jump” is my favorite line!